“There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people who haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell. (Interviewer: You don’t believe that?). “I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.” – Barack Obama (Interview March 7, 2004).
These are statements that unbelievers have raised through the years to question God’s justice. The rational mind of men is opposed to God and can not understand Him. They believe that they can construct a paradox, (ie. How could a loving God send good people to Hell), that questions the truth, character, even existence of God. Their faith in their own values and rational analysis about justice, truth, and God, overrides all because the rational mind is opposed to God and cannot accept God on His terms. (1 Cor. 2: 14; 1 John 4: 5-6).
The scripture contradicts these false notions of human reasoning and so-called personal “values”. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ ” (John 14: 6). There is no other way to God in heaven, but through faith in Yeshua, Messiah. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matt. 7: 13-14). The reality is not that God arbitrarily sends people to Hell, on the contrary He has made himself known to every person, so that they are without excuse, but many nevertheless reject him. (Rom. 1: 20-25). God is just, He prefers that people come to Him for salvation, but those who reject Yeshua remain under the wrath they have earned in their rebellion and sin. The wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6: 23).
While we do not judge whether others will be saved or not, we can reply on statements and share the truth of relevant scripture. Further, a person’s actions over time are indicators of their true beliefs. (Matt. 7: 16-20). Having said that, even avowed atheists may come to faith, before they die. Moreover, politicians have been known to say things purely for political reasons. These issues of salvation are basic Christianity, rather than obscure theological fine points. Our responsibility is to explain the error of these humanistic responses to basic Christianity.